Thursday, 3 March 2011

UNESCO steps in preserve Punjab Heritage

Putting a Rs 100 crore culture Preservation plan on fast track, the Punjab government today signed an MoU( memorandum of understanding) with UNESCO to prepare a proper and professional policy for preservation of heritage and culture of Punjab.

The MoU was signed by Punjab Principal Secretary, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Geetika Kalha and UNESCO Director Armoogum Parsuramen in the presence of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Appreciating the noble initiative, Mr Badal said that Punjab was the first state in the country that had chosen professional model to preserve oldest cultural heritage of Punjab.

He said Punjab was rich in tangible and intangible cultural heritage ranging from archaeological remains of the 5,000 year old Indus civilisation right up to the planning and construction of the modernist capital of its capital city-Chandigarh.

He said that this heritage of the state displayed rich evidence of being a thriving and much sought about gateway to the subcontinent and a key stop along important trade routes such as the linkages to the Silk road and later the Grand Trunk Road; encompassing not only tangible assets of archaeology and architecture, but a rich philosophy, poetry, spirituality, crafts, artistry, music, cuisine and multifold traditions.

Mr Badal said the Punjab government through its Department of Culture, Archaeology and Museum had taken a unique and visionary initiative to develop a State Cultural Heritage Policy in order to guide the use of Rs 100 crore funds in all fields with relevance to the cultural heritage and helping to improve institutional, legal and other frameworks to better preserve, manage and sustainably use its cultural heritage.

He said that the Punjab government had sought the assistance of UNESCO, New Delhi whose mandate was to protect and promote natural and cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, moveable and immoveable while enhancing international mutual understanding among nations and people.

Mr Badal said that this project would be completed within 18 months and the government had already earmarked Rs 100 crore for this. He said that in the first phase focus would be on preservation of Monuments/Museums identified by UNESCO.

He said that the archival heritage had been identified as a major strength of the state government and efforts were also being made to preserve and conserve these by adopting modern and scientific techniques.
Chandigarh, Feb 26 :--UNI

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